Taking Femininity Out of Feminism


By JSB Morse | Guest Blogger

I used to love awards shows like the VMAs or the Emmys. Then I turned 12.

Today, I was reminded why I don’t watch anymore—why awards shows are probably the worst form of reality television: they are a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with society.

Take the idea of feminism, for which the mega-international-superstar Beyoncé was the curious spokesperson on Sunday evening’s showcase of slop. She stood before the world with “Feminist” shining behind her, implying that she was the epitome of the word.

The root of feminism, naturally, is feminine and when you ask someone what feminine means, you might get an answer like effeminate, nurturing, beautiful, or dainty. Some may answer like dictionary.com: “sensitivity or gentleness.”

But Sunday, Beyoncé didn’t display those qualities. She sang about performing oral sex in the back of a limo and having a guy “tear that cherry out.” She had a song that tells women who don’t respect her sufficiently to “Bow Down Bitches.” And of course, how could a self-professed feminist perform in front of a national audience of tweens without gratuitous dry-humping and S&M themes?

It was almost as if her idea of feminism was strictly sexual in nature and an adolescent mysogynistic version of sexuality at that. To most keen observers, there was a distinct lack of femininity in Beyoncés feminism. As one blogger wrote, it was utterly hilarious that Beyoncé claimed feminism between the strip club vignette and the ‘Bow Down’ song.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? She wants to separate the idea of feminism with femininity. She wants to act like a barbaric male and pretend that since she has breasts that it is somehow feminism. She and her handlers want to change what it means to be feminine.

Of course, you can’t do that. Femininity isn’t a cultural construct. Yes, fashions change; trends come and go; but the core nature of woman is written in a woman’s genes and no amount of testosterone supplements or MTV can change that.

So what happens when you try to take the feminine out of feminism?

You end up getting this:


Now, for those of you who still have your lunch…

I’m not the most observant person in the world, but I don’t know who would call Hulk Hogan on crack feminine. It’s what happens when you try to take femininity out of feminism.

This article was originally published on JSB Morse’s site: JSB MORSE.

So what does it really mean to be feminine? 

By Maura Byrne | Founder of Made in His Image

Our culture is plagued with false truths about beauty and self-image because often times women don’t know what their true and lasting identity lies in. Confused, women turn to the media for reassurance and guidance. And what does the media tell them? It tells them that in order to be considered “beautiful” they need to look like the latest ninety-five pound manufactured celebrity on the cover of People Magazine. So, because of society, countless women strive after false beauty, perishable fame and attempt to quench their thirst for happiness with fleeting pleasures. But Truth tells women that lasting beauty stems from virtue and character, which is found within. 

In fact, woman has a genius all her own, which is vitally essential to both society and the Church. It is certainly not a question of comparing woman to man, since it is obvious that they have fundamental dimensions and values in common. However, in man and in woman these acquire different strengths, interests and emphases and it is this very diversity which becomes a source of enrichment. – Blessed John Paul II

What are these “different strengths and interests” that John Paul II talks about?

One of the greatest treasures Blessed John Paul II left to the world is his book –Theology of the Body. In it, he talks about the human person and explains how God is made manifested through humanity. Theology of the Body delves into what it truly means to be a man and woman, and how we should live out our masculinity and femininity in accords with how God created us. If we yearn to be the best version of ourselves, then we must embrace the unique qualities of our gender. To do this we must go back to the very beginning when God created us. Genesis 1:27 tells us, God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 

God created us out of love, for us to love and be loved. The way in which this love is expressed and revealed is different for men and women, which is how God in His infinite wisdom designed it to be. And it is the unique characteristics of men and women that enable this love to come to fruition. We exist to complement one another. In Theology of the Body, John Paul II tells us that we are called to exist as a gift for one another. He describes this gift as a sincere gift of self, and it is only when we lay down our life for another in this way that we will experience genuine fulfillment.

In order to understand God’s plan for humanity in our fallen world we must go back to the beginning and see what God intended for us. It is only when we do this that we will be filled with hope and peace. In the beginning of time after God created the world he saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, thus He created woman. Eve was created as a sincere gift for Adam, and Adam as a gift for her. They were created to complement one another in their union, each to offer themselves to the other as a gift.

Our society today has lost sight of this quintessential ideal due to selfishness. Our culture is plagued with violation and unrest due to a “hook up” mentality, lack of chastity and self-control, pornography and a genuine lack of respect for the human person.

How can we bring our culture back to God’s original design? Women, in order to do this you must embrace your femininity in a unique way. You were created with a unique purpose and plan and your dignity flows from the Father’s love for you.

Some qualities that are unique to women are receptivity, sensitivity, generosity, and maternity. Please keep in mind that men can most certainly be receptive, sensitive and generous, a woman simply embodies these characteristics in a different way. The way in which a woman expresses these values is not better than the way in which a man does and most certainly not in a lesser capacity either. Simply put they are just different, and different never means greater or lesser. Picture for a moment Leonardo da Vinci’s painting – the Mona Lisa, now picture the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. While both works of art are masterpieces, one is not better than the other, they are simply different.

God designed a woman to be of great charm and mystery. And when a woman exhibits feminine traits she reflects this beauty and appeal in a unique way. Why? Because she knows her worth. 

Take for example the way some music performers dress. Their actions scream, “look at me.” They are yearning for attention. 

Femininity asks the questions, Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? And femininity cherishes the sacredness of the human body in our overly sexualized world.

 P.S. You are enough

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